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Family Guy: Tropes D to I
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    D 
  • Damned By a Fool's Praise:
    • An in-universe example occurs in the episode "Dog Gone", when Brian's book, Faster than the Speed of Love, is celebrated by a book club for the mentally challenged. In a deleted scene in the same episode, Peter was among the people who likes Brian's book.
    • And in "Road to Germany," when Stewie and Brian travel to 1939 Poland, Nazis are seen wearing John McCain campaign buttons.
  • Darker and Edgier: The series seems to have taken this turn. While an adult show, the gags of initial episodes were much more toned down and limited in mature humor, and had a touch of sentimentality. Post-Uncancelation the excessive mix of Black Comedy, Comedic Sociopathy, and Cringe Comedy has made the newly formed Sadist Show of acquired taste to say the least.
    • The episode "The Story of Brenda Q". While there are a few jokes thrown in, overall the episode is very serious. It's about Quagmire's sister, Brenda, being beaten by her boyfriend. Unusually for Family Guy, the topic is treated very seriously. Some of the abuse scenes are actually a little hard to watch. What makes the abuse episode even odder is that women were used in two of the show's worst depictions of violence. One episode had Stewie's evil doppelganger graphically bisect an innocent women with a machete. Another showed the entire front of a women's dead body completely torn open after it was implied that Quagmire used his large erection on her. Then again there's a huge difference between the extremely cartoonish violence listed above, and the more realistic violence depicted in "Screams of Silence".
    • In a Season 8 episode Peter is being sexually harassed by his boss Angela. Like the above example, the abuse is taken pretty seriously (though certainly not to the same degree) and is basically one big Take That / Reality Ensues towards the Double Standard that men can't get sexually harassed because they either like it coming from women or that it's physically impossible for a woman to abuse a man. The episode touched upon the unfortunate, yet true reality that certain crimes committed against men just aren't taken as seriously for a slew of reasons (usually regarding the physical capabilities and implied masculinity of men).
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Carter Pewterschmidt despises Peter, and isn't at all happy that Lois dates and eventually marries him. A rare example of this trope being Gender Flipped also occurs when Peter's staunchly Catholic father despises the Protestant Lois.
  • Dawn Attack:
    • One of Peter's inventions flings Stewie into a tree, where he sees the Keebler elves plotting to "attack the Rice Krispies guys at dawn". Later a Brick Joke.
    • A variation with the plotting clouds in "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein"
  • Daydream Surprise: In parody of Scrubs' use of the trope.
  • Dead Guy Puppet: Though it wasn't someone he killed, Peter finds an Indian Burial Ground in his backyard, including a skull. He names it "Chief Lou Diamond Phillips" and uses it as a puppet, among other things.
  • Deadline News: Asian Reporter Tricia Takinawa reporting on a hurricane. She got better.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Death, Stewie, and occasionally Peter.
    • Quagmire has been becoming this more recently as has Chris. Lois slips into this on occasion. And after taking center stage, Cleveland has become somewhat snarkier.
    • Brian, though, is probably the most obvious example.
    Brian: What's it called?
    Stewie: Susie.
    Brian: Wow, a song named after a girl. There aren't a million of those already.
    Stewie: Name 20.
    Brian: Roseanna, Roxanne, Michelle, Alison, Sara, Angie, Brandy, Mandy, Gloria, Cecilia, Maggie May, Jessica, Nancy, Barbara, Billie Jean, Layla, Lola, Polly, Helena, Jenny from the block.
    Stewie: Name 6 more.
    Brian: Cherie, Laura, Wendy, Maria, Peggy Sue, Minnie the Moocher.
    Stewie: Name 5 more.
    Brian: Tracy, Jean, Jane, Mary-Anne, Eleanor Rigby.
    Stewie: ... go fuck yourself.
  • Death Is Cheap: Brian was saved from his death via time travel only about 2 episodes after he died.
  • Deconstruction: Some episodes have the characters become incredibly aware of their Flanderization and Characterization Marches On and roll with it.
    • And as mentioned previously, the Christmas Episode gets deconstructed.
    • The Running Gag of Meg being abused by everyone is deconstructed in later seasons by showing her going crazy and unstable from being the Butt Monkey...which became a new Running Gag.
    • "Grimm Job" features a more realistic telling of Little Red Riding Hood, including Red immediately realizing the wolf is not her grandmother, and the woodsman cutting the wolf open in a very violent manner.
  • Deep South: Season 3's "To Love and Die in Dixie" (where The Griffins are sent to Bumblescum, Alabama as part of Witness Protection) and season 5's "Boys Do Cry" (where The Griffins flee to Texas to escape religious nuts who think Stewie is possessed). It's worth noting that they portray the South in distinctly different ways in each episode. In the former, the locals are inbred hillbilly stereotypes but good people, while in the latter, they're behind-the-times intolerant Jerkasses.
  • Delicious Distraction: James Woods can be distracted with a trail of Reese's Pieces.
  • Demoted to Extra: Neil Goldman used to appear a lot in the pre-cancellation seasons. However, once his dad Mort was introduced in season 3, he began to appear less often. He wasn't seen during season 5, had two brief cameos in one episode of season 6 and another in season 7, was again absent for season 8-9, and made one brief cameo in season 10. Also, Connie D'Amico, a popular girl who often antagonized Meg suffered a similar fate. These characters only appeared in Meg-centric episodes, when nowadays Meg herself is victim of this trope too.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • In "Don't Make Me Over"
      Craig: That's as likely as me playing by someone else's rules besides my own. Which I would never do. I play by my own rules. No one elses.
    • In "North By North Quahog", when Peter is posing as Mel Gibson:
      Peter: I play Peter Griffin, a heroic warrior who defied the English to free England, from the English.
    • In "Excellence in Broadcasting" Rush Limbaugh's book appears to be titled "Rush Limbaugh" by Rush Limbaugh.
  • Depending on the Writer: Most of the main characters in later seasons, though it's more like "Depending on the gag". Especially notable examples include:
  • Depraved Bisexual: Meg is shown to have a crush on Connie. This is apparent when she tongue kisses her unconscious body in "Dial Meg for Murder" and in "Stew-roids" when she grumbled that she was still going to masturbate to Connie in the bath even after Connie said no.
  • Depraved Homosexual: The people from the ‘Gayman Islands’ who did... something with the lottery money Peter sent them in "Lottery Fever" are implied to be this.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Stewie in seasons 1-6.
  • Didn't We Use This Joke Already?:
    Stewie: I'm not going to no Jewish school! Sitting around all day with a bunch of short, hairy guys. I'll feel like I'm on the forest moon of Endor.
    Chris: Didn't you make that joke the other day?
  • Dinner with the Boss: Peter invites Mr. Weed, the owner of the toy company he works at, over for dinner. Weed chokes on a dinner roll (catapulted from Brian's mouth after Brian chokes & Peter gives him the Heimlich maneuver) and dies.
  • Directionless Driver: From the episode "The Son Also Draws":
    Lois: "Peter, we're lost. Would you please ask for directions?"
    Peter: "We are not lost. And even if we were I can't ask a human being for directions."
    Lois: "Why not?"
    Peter: "Because I'm a man. Haven't you ever seen a stand-up comedian, Lois?"
  • Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery:
    • Peter uses his diagnosis of being mentally retarded to be even more of an asshole than usual, being abusive to people, shoving to front of lines, and just generally misbehaving all with a "sorry, retarded".
    • By extension, the writers do the same.
    • In a later episode, Chris goes on a date with a girl with Down Syndrome, who ends up being incredibly abusive to him.
    • Inverted with Joe when he regains the ability to walk in "Believe It or Not, Joe's Walking On Air." Joe was always handicapped but was also pretty easygoing and reasonable. When he gains the ability to walk again, Joe actually starts to become an asshole to his friends and uses their inability to keep up with him as an excuse to treat them like garbage. Only when Joe becomes crippled again does he mellow out.
  • Disney Villain Death:
    • Diane Simmons, who is killed when Stewie shoots her and she falls off a cliff in the Season 9 premier.
    • In "North by North Quahog", Mel Gibson dies falling off Mount Rushmore.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • As a gag showing a Humiliation Conga of how bad Peter often treats Meg, it culminates with Peter sitting on the couch, watching TV, and shooting Meg in the face with a revolver just because she walked by and said "Hi dad."
    • "Killer Queen" has Charles Yamamoto, who tried to murder Chris because he beat him at a hotdog-eating contest.
    • When a kid pushes Stewie into the sand, his new girlfriend Penelope gives the kid a cyanide pill.
    • From "Family Guy Viewer Mail #1":
    Chris: You remember that time you called me "Chris Gristle"?
    Hector: I think so.
    Chris: WELL, BURN FOR IT! *sets Hector on fire with his pyrokinesis*
    • Meg often tries to perform this on herself by committing suicide over trivial things like not getting a date.
    • Stewie beats Brain to a bloody pulp because Brian fails to repay a debt to him. The debt was fifty dollars.
  • Distracted by the Luxury: A DeBeers ad parody.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: In "Don't Make Me Over", the prisoners stop attacking Peter once Meg in her hot form walks on stage.
  • Divorce Requires Death: In one episode, Quagmire gets married to a woman who turns out to be insane and threatens suicide every time he tries to divorce her.
  • Domestic Abuse: Usually played for laughs, but finally taken very seriously in the episode "Screams of Silence: The Story of Brenda Q", which is about Quagmire's sister and her abusive boyfriend. Amazingly, this was done without a Double Standard in "Quagmire's Quagmire", in which Quagmire had an abusive girlfriend, and her actiongs were shown as being outright horrifying.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: A common criticism of the show that, Seth being Seth, is somewhat lampshaded.
    Michael: Are aces high or low?
    Peter: They go both ways.
    Bill: Did you hear that? He said they go both ways! (laughter)
    Ted: Like a bisexual.
    Michael: Yes, Ted, that was the joke.
  • Don't Sneak Up On Me Like That:
    Ninja: Ooh, sorry honey! You know you can't sneak up on me like that...
    • Subverted in "Untitled Griffin Family History" when Meg wakes up and after asking a few questions, Peter in a delayed response, hits her with a bat
    Peter: Sorry Meg you startled me.
  • Don't Tell Mama: One cutaway featured Donny and Marie Osmond having slept together, and both nervously agree that they can't tell mom.
  • Dork Horse Candidate: Peter runs against Lois for a seat on the school board.
  • Double Standard: When Peter called Lois fat, she called him out on his hypocrisy, but Peter replied: "Fat men aren't fat; only fat women are fat."
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Usually deconstructed in some episodes, but in regular episodes, males hitting females is usually Played for Laughs.
  • Double Subversion: This dream, as witnessed by Lois:
    Peter: Oh, Jenny. Oh, Jenny. Oh, Jenny.
    (Lois sits up in bed and glares angrily at Peter.)
    Peter: Oh, Richard Jeni, your HBO comedy specials have brought pleasure to millions.
    (Lois looks relieved and lies back down, closing her eyes.)
    Peter: And what a sweet ass...
    (Lois' eyes shoot open in surprise.)
  • Drunken Master: Peter can only play the piano when he's drunk. "Now that's not true! I can also vomit, fall down, and make dirty calls to your sister when I'm drunk."
  • Duck Season, Rabbit Season: In "Padre de Familia".
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Some examples In-Universe, like that part in "Brothers and Sisters":
    Mayor West: By the way, I should tell you I've got aides.
    Carol: WHAT?
    Mayor West: Yeah, they're right over there waiting for me.
    Aide #1: Ready to go when you are, sir!
    Mayor West: Poor guys. They both have AIDS.
    (cut to Live-Action Robert Loggia)
    Robert Loggia: NOT!! OKAY!!!
  • Dumbass DJ: "Dingo and the Baby", who were much less dumbass & annoying than "Weenie and the Butt."
  • DVD Commentary
  • Dying Declaration Of Hate: Peter's dad gave him one.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Makes The Simpsons look like The Brady Bunch.

    E 
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Besides the animation back then looking cheaper and a bit stiff, there's also the overall atmosphere of the show and if a young fan (who happened to only watch the season's episodes that was Un-Canceled) was to watch them, they'd find the pre-cancellation episodes to be jarringly Lighter and Softer. And saner...
    • Characters differ as well. Most notably, Meg who way before being the Butt Monkey, acted a bit like a Deadpan Snarker or a Spoiled Brat but still had the history of being an outcast at school which makes her whine about it to her family.
    • Peter. Started of as an abrasive Bumbling Dad that, while prone to acts of selfishness and stupidity, genuinely cared about his family and usually redeemed himself each episode. The only Jerkass attitude that was signature of his in the early seasons was his overt sexism.
    • Lois was a down-to-earth character and only sane family member . Cares very much for her family and has only been subjected to a few Out of Character moments which she regretted shortly afterwards. Another noticeable quality was that her voice was deeper and less nasally despite her having the same voice actress as the seasons progress.
    • There's a bit of Purity Sue-ness coming from Joe Swanson, especially in the debut episode where he had the whole neighborhood adoring him. Luckily, his Purity Sue qualities didn't stick and he became one of Peter's friends in short order.
    • Stewie is almost a totally different character in the early seasons compared to now. In his early appearances, he was an evil baby who only cared about taking over the world and killing Lois while having a stockpile of weapons and other gadgets to do it. He also spoke with a more refined language to reflect his genius. As time went on, Stewie pretty much shed his plans for world domination (while still being an overall jerk) and even loves his mother every now and then.
    • Brian was initially little more than a Deadpan Snarker to Peter's antics, and apathetic to most circumstances to the point of bordering The Stoic, far from the extremely opinionated and neuroses prone Butt Monkey of later seasons. He was also a regular atheist instead of the Flat Earth variety.
  • Ears as Hair: Peter's line about Brian's appearance at an upcoming dog show: "We haven’t even talked about how you’re gonna wear your ears. You know, ’cause I was thinking up."
  • Easy Sex Change: QUAGMIRE'S. DAD. She could have been on estrogen for a while and been binding the resulting breasts, and the long hair we see her with could be a wig. Admittedly, though, that was a VERY fast recovery from the gender reassignment surgery!! Particularly when Ida has sex with Brian so soon after the surgery. Though it's never specified that they had vaginal intercourse.
  • Egopolis: Petoria — originally, "Peterland" but it was also the name of a gay bar near the airport, according to Peter.
  • Enemy Mine: Parodied in Peter's show idea called Big Jaws wherein boaters are fighting off the regular Jaws, then a bigger shark comes along.
  • Enfant Terrible:
    • Stewie in early seasons.
    • Penelope in "Mr. and Mrs. Stewie".
  • Epic Fail:
    • Stewie and Brian's first delivery while Subbing for Santa in "Road to the North Pole".
    • When Peter forgot how to sit down.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • There was a somewhat debatable example, when Quagmire clearly had a chance to take advantage of Meg, and didn't. Debatable because he's not portrayed as evil, just a pervert. Considering Quagmire has been shown to be a serial rapist, kidnapper, and deliberately spreads STDs.
    • In "Chick Cancer", Stewie is shocked by Brian's thoughtless racism:
      Stewie: I mean, what kind of man would I be if I ran off now?
      Brian: Well, you would be a black man.
      Stewie: Whoa, whoa, whoa, what was that?
      Brian: Ah, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. That was my father talking.
      Stewie: You, uh, gotta work on that man. Bad dog.
    • Another Stewie example: Lois tries to feed him...
      Lois: Okay, Stewie, the airplane's coming in for a landing.
      Stewie knocks the spoon out of her hand.
      Stewie: Well, looks like the pilot was JFK Junior. *pause* Ooh, even I found that to be in bad taste.
    • When Brian became an extreme Republican, his attitude became too much even for Rush Limbaugh.
  • Even Nerds Have Standards: Neil Goldman is apparently so hideous that not even someone as desperate for attention as Meg would want him.
    Tom Tucker: Thank you, Meg. I guess beggars can be choosers.
  • Everyone Is Bi: Almost every, if not all characters has had at least one gay experience on the show.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: The monkey in Chris' closet.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Played with when Death tries to chat up a woman who works in a pet shop, and she can't hear a word over every single animal going berserk.
  • Evil-Detecting Baby: Ironically enough, Stewie recognized that the head of the oil company wasn't a very nice man.
    Stewie: "He don't sit right with me, Lois. He don't sit right with me."
  • Eviler than Thou: In one episode, Stewie created a machine to make him more evil. It malfunctions and instead created a doppelganger.
  • Evil Stole My Faith: The infamous episode "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven" has Brian using Meg's unattractiveness as evidence of God's nonexistence. Logically, as he argues that no loving creator would make Meg in her ugly father's image rather than her hot mother's, Brian is actually arguing that Seth MacFarlane either doesn't exist or is a cruel bastard.
  • Evil Versus Evil: How Stewie and Penelope's brief stint ends.
  • Evolving Credits: The opening credits in season 12 has Vinnie replacing Brian.
  • Executive Meddling: In-universe example: Brian Griffin has an idea for a show at CBS. Unfortunately it's altered beyond recognition by the execs. The reemergence of James Woods to twist the knife didn't help, either.
  • Experimented in College: "Partial Terms of Endearment" reveals Lois dated another girl named Naomi in college.
  • Exposition Cut: Parodied in one episode. Peter comes up with a plan to stop students from using drugs at the Quahog high school. Peter is seen in the principal's office saying, "... and that's the plan." The principal points out that Peter never actually gave a plan but rather walked into his office and said this line.
  • Express Lane Limit:
    Bruce: I definitely need a breath freshener. Ooh, but that's gonna give me 11 items.
    Cashier: That's fine.
    Bruce: No, no, no. Rules is rules. Let's see what I'm gonna put back. Okay, I need the Reynolds Wrap and the bathroom tissue. I could do without the Triscuits, but they sure are good. 7 Up's the whole reason I came down here in the first place. You know what, I'm not gonna need the V8, 'cause I can just get some tomato juice at the mini-mart down the street. It's a little more expensive, but that's okay; I like to help out a small business. I hope it's okay if I pay in pennies. [dumps a whole bag of pennies on the counter].
  • Expy:
    • Peter and Brian are expies of characters from Seth MacFarlane's old prototype "Larry and Steve".
    • It also features the earliest known version of Quagmire.
  • Eye Awaken: The giant chicken, once beaten.
  • Eye Scream: "Black-Eye Griffin" from "An Untitled Griffin Family History" [1] subverts this. All of his "ocular misadventures" consist of him performing a task to happy piano music, then suddenly receiving an injury that would normally be an eye scream (for example, a telescope to the eye) but which always ends with him yelling "Oh-oh, not my eye again!", getting a black eye, and shrugging into the camera to a type B Losing Horn [2].

    F 
  • Faceship: The Petercopter and Hindenpeter, both of which have Peter's face at the front.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: Brian, thanks to the many, many locks on Pearl's door.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Any episode that centers around Brian. Trying to get a girlfriend? He'll lose em in some form or another. Trying to publish his book? It'll bomb horribly. Trying to finish college? Will fail the final test. Trying to make friends with someone who hates him? No dice. Say the least, if it's about Brian don't expect any happy endings for the guy. Or at most, him unable to accomplish what he set out to do.
  • Fairytale Wedding Dress: Lois's dress, which can be seen on a picture in the house.
  • Fake High: Once in a Cutaway Gag where Stewie thought he had drunk some alcohol but it was only apple juice; and once when all the family were beating each other up Brian gave everyone some of his "prescription" Happy Pills and everyone blissed out, but once Brian revealed that they were only sugar pills they went back to fighting each other.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Are all those many shots of Peter and Chris naked (especially Peter) really necessary? The uncensored DVDs up the ante and actually show Peter's penis...shudder.
    • The Greased Up Deaf Guy himself is another example.
    • Hairless Brian to some, although others will argue that he is Ugly Cute.
  • Fan of Underdog: Stewie with Brian, starting in the first "Road to" episode.
  • Fanservice: There are a few shots of Lois in various states of dishabille throughout the series. There is one episode, "From Method to Madness" where Lois is completely nude, but it also couples as Fan Disservice because Peter's also nude and thrusting his belly in Meg's face. In the episode "Whistle While Your Wife Works", Jillian comes out of the shower in a towel and drops it in front of Brian.
  • Fan Service Extra: Numerous examples:
    • "There's Something About Paulie": The two women wrestlers in the supermarket.
    • Various episodes: All the women from Stewie's "sexy parties".
  • Fan Vid: Parodied. In one episode, Stewie makes a video with the Bryan Adams song (Everything I Do) I Do It For You. It's full of random effects and Shout Outs to various famous works of art. When Brian (the dog, not the singer) points out that he doesn't get the storyline of the video, Stewie promptly tells him to "Shut up!"
  • Fantasy Twist: Stewie once fantasised about what his life would be like when he was grown up; the fantasy consisted of a balding, middle-aged Stewie asking his wife about an unfamiliar entry on their phone bill.
  • Fashion Show: A cutaway gag.
  • Fast-Forward Gag: An episode where Peter and Lois consider buying a TiVo has the salesman fast forward through their argument to get to the point where they agree. In the middle of the argument, Chris enters choking on something and Lois gives him the Heimlich Maneuver.
  • Fat Camp:
    • After Lois lost her memory from Stewie's attempt at matricide, she works at a fat camp and tries to keep the kids from eating each other.
    • "Killer Queen" has Peter and Chris going to one of these.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Stewie in the early seasons and Peter himself in the later seasons.
  • Faux Horrific:
    • Stewie seeing a woman's lower parts for the first time.
    • Quagmire's Mundane Ghost Story is clearly only scary to him.
  • invokedFaux Symbolism: Played with in Stewie's music video for Susie, "Everything I Do." We see Stewie as a snowman, walking by a woman playing cello, and him utterly destroying and trashing a hotel room. Try and guess what that all means.
    Brian: I'm not following the story here.
    Stewie: SHUT UP!!!
  • Fawlty Towers Plot: In the first episode, Peter doesn't want to tell Lois that he's lost his job, leading to this.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Quahog's reaction to the New York tourists that annually flock to the town to watch the leaves change color.
    Brian: LEEEEAAAAAAAFFFFFFEEEEERRRSSSSSS!!!
  • Feng Schwing: Quagmire's house and summer house.
  • Fetish:
    • Quagmire is loaded with them, with one exception:
    Cleveland: Is there anything that doesn't give you a boner, Glenn?
    Quagmire: People who use the word 'rubbish' when they mean 'garbage'.
    • If a cutaway is anything to go by, Peter has a thing for school girls when he and Lois role-played before sex. Lois seems to have various bad boy and violence fetishes.
  • Fetus Terrible:
    • Stewie was quite the bastard even before he was born. Ditto for his half-brother Bertram.
    • "Happy fiftieth birthday, Lois."
  • Fiction 500: Peter for one episode. Mr. Pewterschmidt all the time.
  • Five-Token Band: Peter's circle of friends. Down to four tokens now that Cleveland's moved away.
  • Flanderization:
    • The family itself has had their traits exaggerated throughout the years:
      • Peter used to just be a moron who tried to do what's best for his family in spite of his shortcomings but is now just the Jerkass that's actually medically labeled as a mentally disabled person.
      • Lois has gone from loving, sensible, and slightly sex crazed mother to nymphomaniac who really doesn't give a damn about her family. Although she does show concern when it's needed, she still explicitly hates Meg, is never seen anywhere near Chris, and leaves Stewie off on his own almost all the time.
      • Although, despite the mild Flanderization in seasons 4 and 5, Peter and Lois also remained the earlier parts of their personalities, but when Seth MacFarlane left the show's creative-writing department, their newer personalities were overly-exaggerated to the point where neither Peter, nor Lois are that caring about their family anymore.
      • Meg has went from being a rather unpopular teenager to an extremely unpopular teenager. She's the show's punching bag unless the plot actually involves her.
      • Chris has been the least Flanderized, but his role in the series is gradually shrinking, though he has gained an unexplainable baseline of intelligence. Starting from season 8, like Quagmire, Chris became more cynical and smarter than his original personality intended him to be, this must be due to Flanderization of Peter and Lois, as neither hardly care about their children anymore.
      • Brian has probably been the worst recipient of this. He started out as a Only Sane Man and Straight Man for Peter and Stewie. After the show was uncanceled, he began to drop some comments that mirrored some of Seth MacFarlane's political views. However, by Season 7 this was taken to the extreme with many episodes focused on Brian's political views, much to the audience's dismay. Fortunately, this trend stopped in Season 8.
      • Stewie's curiosity for homosexuality slowly growing to make him flat-out gay. This trait has taken him over so badly that he has lost a lot of his Evil Genius traits as a result. Granted, Stewie has apparently lampshaded his own Flanderization on at least two occasions where he realized he was losing his villainous touch and attempted to de-flanderize himself by (the first attempt) attempting to kill Lois again, and (the second attempt) getting back to inventing for the sake of evil. We see only traces of his older characterization in the later seasons, but not much at all. Seth MacFarlane has admitted that doing the take over the world thing every week was "getting played out".
    • The secondary characters have suffered this trope as well:
      • Joe. At one point he was a decent cop, and a great athlete, who just happened to be in a wheelchair. Now, being in a wheelchair just seems to be his thing, and he does not really appear to do as much or any police work anymore. The character himself hasn't changed though, and seems to be one of the characters left that is actually not a Jerkass (along with Meg, coincidentally both of them get picked on a huge amount)
      • Cleveland. Nothing more than just the black guy who has a few lines. Severe downgrade from former best friend status. Though it doesn't really matter, considering that Cleveland left Quahog and got his own spin-off. Lampshaded with the episode with the "text in what happens next" feature, where Cleveland only appears at the end for the viewers to "vote" on his line for that episode.
      • Quagmire's sexual tendencies were exaggerated to the point of being an outright perverted rapist. This has been toned back in later episodes. His Kafka Komedy related resentment towards Brian also started off as a subtle awkward moment after he supposedly offended his girlfriend in "The Man With Two Brians". In later episodes fate seems to lead Brian to fuel Quagmire's now occasionally violent hatred towards him. Since season 8, not only has he started hating on Brian, he's become really cynical and angry. However, he's also developed some mellower traits such as a love of cats.
      • Lois' father, Carter, also has his share of flanderization. He went from being a father that just disapproves of the husband his daughter married to a guy that stoops down to making Peter's life hell and doing childish acts just for the sake of making Peter remotely upset if it gets him to leave Lois. Lois takes advantage of this from time to time by pretending to get a divorce so her father can do her any favor she asks. His ruthlessness also exceeded past being an Obnoxious In Law to Peter into an outright Corrupt Corporate Executive with occasional Card-Carrying Villain shades.
    • Some people would say that the show itself has been flanderized since its Uncancelation, thanks to the overabundance of cutaway gags and Black Comedy.
  • Flashback Cut: In "Airport '07", Peter spits some chew into a cup. Stewie grabs the cup and, assuming it's a drink, goes to take a sip. Brian starts to warn Stewie, but thinks back to the events in "Patriot Games" when Stewie mercilessly beat Brian for not paying up after a sports bet. After thinking about that, Brian shuts up and lets Stewie drink the spit-up chew.
  • Flashback Twist:
    • Subverted once in the episode "Believe It or Not, Joe's Walking on Air"; we never see the result of giving a monkey the keys to an amusement park.
    • Also in the episode where Stewie and Brian join the army and Stewie makes a reference to one of Peter's antics and sets up for a cutaway that never manifests. He simply says "What? No clip? Oh, thought we had a clip." and the scene continues.
    • And again in the "Spies Like Us" parody where he (Along with Brian, Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd) get beaten up by a mind-conditioned Adam West. Stewie tries to mutter a line that'll trigger a cutaway but it come out unintelligible. We then cut to said cutaway where Stewie standing in a blank space and admitting the joke didn't come out right.
    • And again in the second James Woods episode, wherein Woods actually threatens Peter with the prospect of "setting up another one of his random flashbacks"
    • Also in the episode "Tiegs for Two", Peter says that his favorite shirt was stained by wine at a cocktail party hosted by Michael J. Fox. Instead of the flashback, Peter appears in front of a grey screen, stating that the writers don't want to show the cutaway, saying that it's 'just too sad', and explaining what the basis of the joke was. However, the writers eventually tell Peter to show the clip.
  • Flat Earth Atheist:
    • Brian is an atheist... despite the fact that God and Jesus are frequently seen in Quahog and he's actually met both of them on several occasions, and in one episode in the early seasons Brian was trying throughout most of the running time to convince Peter to stop getting people to worship him so that the real God would stop sending plagues upon them.
      You want an explanation!? God! Is! Pissed!
    • Sometimes the show goes out of its way to justify his beliefs. "Family Goy" ends with Jesus himself saying that all religions are "pretty much crap", followed by an off-screen Brian shouting "Thank you!" Actually a bit more Truth in Television than many people, Christians and non-Christians alike, are aware of.
    • It looks like Seth MacFarlane is starting to realize how stupid Brian looks to constantly deny the existence of Christianity in a show where God and Jesus exist and interact with the world. In "Jesus, Mary and Joseph!" (S11,E8) Brian makes another one of his tired shots at Christianity and Stewie counters with the fact that they have spent time with Jesus.
    Meg: *Holding up an ornament of Jesus, Mary and Joseph* This one's my favorite ornament. I could only imagine what it must have been like for them on that very first Christmas.
    Brian: Yeah, it was probably very moving. And fictional.
  • Floating Timeline:
    • Played straight, subverted, and lampshaded. Played straight: Show's been on for 7+ seasons, but the children are still in school; Stewie is still a baby. Subverted: Chris goes to high school. Lampshaded: Peter bemoans Bonnie's pregnancy: Peter: "You've been pregnant for like 5 years. Either have the baby or don't." Eventually they did an episode dealing with the birth. Immediately after the nurse says "It's a girl!", Quagmire comments "I can't believe she's already 18." (However, this was just a throwaway joke; so far the daughter has been shown to be younger than Stewie.)
      • That bit with Quagmire wasn't an example of Family Guy's lack of a proper flow of time, it was another joke of how Quagmire is a sick pervert.
    • Another incident is the episode where Brian accidentally sells Stewie's stuffed teddy bear. At one point Brian comments that Stewie is getting too old for it anyway and he should move on:
      Brian: You are getting a little old for a teddy bear.
      Stewie: Brian, I'm one.
      Brian: Still?
    • Averted with Cleveland Jr, who ages a lot from his last appearance on Family Guy to The Cleveland Show (though it will probably be played straight later on in the latter show).
  • Floorboard Failure:
    • The episode "To Live and Die in Dixie" had several.
    • "Fifteen Minutes of Shame" also features this, much to Meg's embarrassment.
    Peter: Hey Lois, have you seen my fake beard- (falls through the stairs) Oh crap, I'm stuck in the stairs.
  • A Fool and His New Money Are Soon Parted:
    • In an early episode, Lois inherits a mansion and money from her rich aunt. In the 10th season, the Griffins win the lottery.
    • In "Death Has a Shadow", Peter is given welfare but when Lois finds out she is pissed. In order to make her happy, Peter gives all the money away at the Super Bowl.
  • Forced Meme: Stewie Just Said That.
  • Forged Message:
    • The ending to the Very Special Episode has Quagmire kill his sister's abusive boyfriend and he and the guys go to her with a fake letter telling her that "he" is leaving her, that he will kill her and her unborn child if she tells that he was with the guys, and that he really, really likes Grape Ape.
    • Discussed in "Jerome is the New Black" during Quagmire's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Brian.
    Quagmire: I should have known that Cheryl Tiegs didn't write me that letter. She would have known there's no "a" in the word "definite".

  • Four Is Death: A rather odd example - the titles of the first four episodes have "death" or a word related to it in them: "Death Has a Shadow", "I Never Met the Dead Man", "Chitty Chitty Death Bang" and "Mind Over Murder".
  • Franchise Zombie: Based on this interview, MacFarlane himself believes the series has become this, to say nothing of the haters.
  • Free-Range Children: Stewie generally wanders about the world with little concern from Lois and Peter. In one episode he even joined the army. The only concern we see from Lois is for Chris, who is more of age (although competence could be argued, considering that this is Chris).
  • The Freelance Shame Squad: When the popular kids pelt Meg with rotten meat during her halftime routine, everyone in the stands points and laughs at her. It's worth noting because this was long before Meg became the over-exaggerated Butt Monkey that she is now.
  • Freudian Slip: In "North By North Quahog", when Brian talks to Tom Tucker and his son with the upside down face:
    Brian: Yes, well, uh, Mr. Tucker, uh, it seems your son, Jake, had some vodka at the school dance and, uh, Chris got blamed for it. This, uh, this, this whole situation has just turned his whole life upside-down face. (Stewie slowly turns to glare at Brian)
  • Friction Burn: In one episode, Peter drank Red Bull, giving him a rush of energy, and then milked a cow so rapidly, its udder burst into flames. In the same scene Chris, who also drank Red Bull, was seen running around screaming, pantsless and his groin ablaze.
  • Fridge Brilliance: This trope is actually discussed in "Movin Out (Brian's Song) when Jillian and Peter are discussing the meanings behind the title of Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
  • Friendly Tickle Torture: Lois does this to Stewie during a cutaway for nearly one minute straight... then throws up on him. In a different episode, Peter tickles Lois and she retaliates by hitting him in the face with a frying pan and breaking his nose.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: In "Eight Simple Rules For Buying My Teenage Daughter", while Meg is babysitting Stewie, he lampshades that the two generally don't interact much in an awkward attempt at making conversation.
    • Lampshaded again in "And Then There Were Fewer" the party of guests divide into couples to search the mansion. Peter makes groups, among them choosing Dr. Hartman and Seamus since they may be interesting as a new chemistry.
  • Full House Music: Parodied.
  • Fully-Clothed Nudity: Brian. After subverting discussion of it for almost fifteen years, Peter bluntly brings it up in front of Brian in "A Fistful of Meg".
  • Fun with Flushing: A cutaway gag "solves" the Lindburg Baby kidnapping.
  • Funny Animal:
    • Brian, who also acts as a living Deconstruction on occasion.
    • Cleveland and Quagmire in the Disney universe.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • The B-Plot of "The Story on Page One" has Stewie put a Hypno Trinket on Chris. Chris is about to kill Lois with an ax when the microwave shorts out the signal. While Meg talks to Lois in the kitchen, Chris goes after Stewie outside.
    • While Peter and Lois are talking in front of the living room window, Stewie takes his rage out on a snowman because the mall's Christmas Carnival had been canceled. Putting lipstick on the snowman, deeply kissing it, then decapitating it wasn't enough to sate his rage. He then puts on a pair of protective goggles, rigs up a detonator and DESTROYS ALL OF QUAHOG WITH A NUCLEAR BOMB, with the destruction ending right at the Griffin household.
  • Fur and Loathing: When Lois wanted a fur coat, she sold out her environmental views, rather than just saving up.
  • Furry Confusion: Anthropomorphic dogs like Brian and Jasper are shown alongside regular, non-anthropomorphic ones such as Brian's mother, Biscuit and the Pewterschmidts' dog, Seabreeze. Occasionally lampshaded. "I was the one who could talk."
  • Fusion Dance: The joined handicapped guys forming "Crippletron" in "No Meals on Wheels"
  • Future Loser: Stewie, and to a lesser extent Chris and Meg, in "Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story". Chris and Stewie might be saved from that sad future at the end of the episode, but they let Meg run her course.

    G 
  • Gag Boobs: Ms. Lockhart in the episode "Fast Times at Buddy Ciani Jr. High", as evidenced by this exchange:
    Ms. Lockhart: (holds a failed paper in front of her) Chris, what do you see here?
    Chris: ...Two D's and an F?
  • Gag Penis:
    • Chris, much to Peter's horror when he found out.
    • Peter also got an extremely exaggerated gag penis during a cutaway. Apparently, in this universe, attaching your crotch to a rope, attaching the rope to the tailgate of a car, and have that car drive off at breakneck speed can give you family jewels the size of a bowling ball.
  • Gainax Ending: The End of a Depressing 1970s Sci-fi Movie Starring a Guy in a Turtleneck.
  • Game Show Appearance: Mayor Adam West on Jeopardy!; Peter Griffin on Wheel of Fortune, The Dating Game, Survivor, the 60s version of Password and something called Bobcat or Bjork; Peter also hosted Family Feud, disrupted a taping of The Price Is Right, and his Citizenship test rapidly morphs into a Pyramid bonus round.
  • Gangsta Style:
    Brian: C'mon, Stewie, you don't know how to use that [gun].
    Stewie: Oh, yeah? How 'bout if I hold it sideways like a black guy?
  • Garage Band: Chris starts a metal garage band in one episode.
  • Gay Aesop: MacFarlane (and possibly other staff members) is a gay rights activist, so this kind of moral isn't surprising. These episodes still frequently end with a Broken Aesop.
  • Genre Savvy: During the murder mystery episode:
    • The first thing everyone does when it looks like they're locked in is whip out all their cellphones. Alas, there's no signal, but that's more than most mystery characters can say.
    • After a few people have died, they only move in a large group.
    • Also this:
    Captain Kirk: "There is a good chance someone will be killed! The away team will consist of myself, Mr. Spock, Sulu, and Ensign Ricky."
    Ensign Ricky: (Looking thoroughly annoyed) "Aah, crap."
  • Generation Xerox: Possibly. In a Cutaway Gag within Season Three's "Lethal Weapons", Lois reveals that, when she was a child, she was this, big, aggressive, she-ape of a child (who was hideous, despite the Lois we know years later). Fast-forward 27 years later, and we have Meg, whose appearance constantly shifts from homely to borderline monstrous.
  • George Washington Slept Here: In an attempt to convince a historical society that the Big Fancy House he inherited had $50,000 worth of history occur in it (so he could sell it to them as repayment of a debt), Peter scratched a fake "Jesus Was Here" message on one wall and tried to make it look like the Underground Railroad had passed through it. This was a disaster. Then it turned out that the house had been a presidential brothel frequented by Abraham Lincoln, among others
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: While most of the show is barely accepted by the radar, it has enough for it's own page.
  • The Ghost: Jeffery, the person who always says "Oh naohhhh!" before Bruce's "I naoooh!"
  • Giftedly Bad: Brian is this when it comes to being a writer. However, "Brian Goes Back to College" and "Dial Meg for Murder" seem to indicate that he does have talent in journalistic writing. His fiction and self-help works, however...
  • Gilligan Cut: Had them in the earlier episodes, not so much now.
    • "The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire" parodied the Gilligan Cut in the scene where Peter and Brian catch Loretta having sex with Quagmire. They both agree that telling Cleveland is the last thing they want to do. Cut to later; Peter and Brian have done every other activity in the world and declare that the only thing left to do at this point is to tell Cleveland that Loretta is having an affair.
    • Doubly subverted in "Death is a Bitch":
    Peter: Forget it, Death. I'm not going to do your dirty work. There's no way I'm getting on that plane. Absolutely no way, and that's final.
    [cut to reveal that Peter is still there]
    Peter: See? I'm still here. And there's nothing you can say that'll change my mind.
    Death: Either you kill them, or I kill you.
    [cut to reveal Peter on plane]
    • In "The Father, The Son, and the Holy Fonz", Stewie tells Lois before he passes out, "Don't, don't take me to a black doctor." In the very next shot, at the hospital, a black doctor walks up to Peter and Lois to tell them what's wrong with Stewie.
  • Girl of the Week: Any character introduced as a love interest for Meg, Chris, Stewie, or Brian (Jillian being the only subversion).
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: The Evil Monkey does it.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: Parodied in the first episode "Death Has a Shadow" where the Devil appears on Peter's shoulder and convinces him to go out drinking, but the angel who tells him not to do it never comes because he's stuck in traffic, and again in "Ready, Willing, And Disabled" where the Angel shoots the Devil, then holds Peter at gunpoint and forces him to go over and comfort Joe.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Nearly everyone on the show. Peter being a textbook example.
  • Gorn: Frequently used, but it gets so bad in "Dog Gone" that Peter breaks the Fourth Wall at the end of the episode to tell us that No Animals Were Harmed, even though it's an Animated Series. Watch it to see why he needed to do that.
  • Grammar Nazi: Brian can be this at times...especially hwen someone utters the "hw" sound.
  • Gratuitous German: In "German Guy", the former Nazi commandant's real name is Schlechtnacht—"bad night"—while his fake/cover name is Gutentag—"good day". Also doubles as a Bilingual Bonus.
  • Great Way to Go: Parodied with a parrot who...did not die well.
  • The Grim Reaper: Death is a recurring character.
  • Grossout Show: Especially later episodes.
  • Growling Gut: Used as roll call at fat camp in "Killer Queen".

    H 
  • Halloween Episode: "Halloween on Spooner Street" (season 9), "Quagmire's Quagmire" (season 12)
  • Handicapped Badass: Joe.
  • Hands Go Down: When Brian and Stewie are searching for Mort at a Jewish wedding:
    Stewie: Uh, excuse me. We're looking for a Mr. Goldman.
    (Every man raises their hand)
    Brian: Mr. Mort Goldman.
    (Half the men lower their hands)
    Stewie: He's a small business owner. Tends to whine a lot. Kind of a hypochondriac.
    (The half that lowered their hands raise them again)
    Stewie: No, no! You can't put your hand back up after you've put it down...You know what, never mind.
  • Hangover Sensitivity:
    • Peter experiences this in "Death Has a Shadow" after drinking 37 beers. He describes the pain as like accountants cranking adding machines in his head.
    • In "Peter, Peter, Caviar Eater", Brian gets marinated on the night of the auction. The next morning finds him with a short temper and a bag of ice on his head.
  • Hannibal Lecture:
    • "Christmas Time is Killing Us!" from "Road to the North Pole" appears to be this in musical form, combined with Ear Worm.
    • And Quagmire telling off Brian on "Jerome is the New Black."
  • Happy Dance: When Peter finds out his father has died, Lois and Brian calmly walk outside and break into a quick victory dance [which stops when Brian grabs Lois's boob and Lois smacks Brian into the trash] before coming back inside to console him.
  • Have I Mentioned I am Gay?: Stewie is constantly hinted as being gay, however, he's never fell in love with another boy so far (aside from his crush on Brian, which is mostly a joke), yet he's been with many girls. He's in a committed relationship with Rupert, his stuffed bear.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation:
    • Parodied in "Fore Father": Peter is spraying the house with a hose, and accidentally breaks Meg's window, which causes her fishtank to break and spill all over her carpet. Meg, who's in her room wearing headphones, notices this and instead of cleaning it up, simply turns her music louder.
    • Used again, with her happily listening to music and unable to hear Brian testify to court that Meg's real father is a man named Stan Thompson.
  • Heel-Face Turn:
    • Happens when one murderer stabs himself, realizes how much pain it causes to his victims, and believes he belongs in prison.
    • Stewie, most specifically with Brian.
  • Heh Heh, You Said X:
    • In "E. Peterbus Unum", Peter mentions that it's his duty to keep the children safe, then laughs because he said "duty". He laughs again because "duty" reminds him of "diarrhea", which he says to Lois to get her to laugh.
    • In another episode where Brian is replaced by "New Brian", Brian decides to leave after thinking it 'long and hard'. Cue Peter laughing. Subverted afterwards when Lois says "I hope it doesn't be a boner to you.", and Peter doesn't react.
  • Held Back In School: Played for laughs in "And the Wiener Is...":
    Teacher: Looks like he's going to have to repeat the fourth grade, Mrs. Griffin.
    (later...)
    Teacher: Looks like he's going to have to repeat the fourth grade, Mrs. Griffin.
    (later...)
    Teacher: Congratulations, you've passed the fourth grade, Mr. Griffin.
    Peter: (as an adult) Oh great! Listen, I gotta leave, though; I'm going hunting with my son.
  • Hero Insurance: Peter and Ernie the Giant Chicken's fights cause rampant property damage through Quahog and the surrounding area, but never have to compensate anyone for it.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Peter is married to the red haired Lois.
  • Hilarity Ensues:
    • Most of the conduct of the main characters – especially Peter and Quagmire – would be considered crimes (some of them felonies) and result in them being sent to prison for years – i.e., far longer than a normal human lifetime if all their crimes were considered, such as murder, rape, kidnapping, robbery, assault, arson, blackmail, embezzlement, fraud and much more. Joe, a police officer, would never be allowed to get away with ignoring his friends' criminal behavior, lest he be stripped of his badge and blacklisted from ever working in law enforcement; in fact, since he himself has engaged in many of the same criminal activities as Peter and Quagmire, he too would be facing years in prison.
    • Stewie's schemes (early in the series) to kill his mother would most likely result in him being institutionalized (because of his age).
  • Hired for Their Looks: Played with where Stewie's nursery is cared for by an attractive but extremely negligent and borderline abusive woman (she leaves the children unattended for several hours and at one point dislocates Stewie's arm in her careless handling of him). He fails to have her found out because Brian insists he keep his mouth shut until he's scored a night in bed with her (though calls the police himself when it turns out she has a boyfriend).
  • Historical Character Confusion: In the song "You've Got a Lot to See" Brian sings to an old lady shut-in about all the things out in the world that she's missing. A group of wild rappers appear during the bridge listing events she's missed, including:
    Diane Simmons: Neil Armstrong landing on the moon.
    Meg: Neil Armstrong? Wait, was he that trumpet guy?
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Happens to Stewie when he plans to enslave the viewing audience during Kids Say the Darndest Things via hypnogoggles. Unfortunately for him, Bill Cosby ends up using them against him.
    Stewie: I-like-pudding. And-Ghost Dad-was-the-best-movie-I've-seen-since-Leonard Part 6.
  • Holding Both Sides of the Conversation: Stewie pretends to be a girl in order to get on his favorite TV show, Jolly Farms Revue. When a girl he has a crush on comes over to meet his girl persona, he quickly goes to change into his girl costume while he argues with himself, pretending to be both Stewie and the girl.
  • Hollywood New England:
    • In "Lethal Weapons", Peter displays contempt for New York sports teams, and New York in general.
    • Quahog, Rhode Island is a fictionalization of Providence.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf:
    • Stewie when he tried out for American Idol. Ordinarily, he can sing.
    • Averted with New Brian from "The Man With Two Brians". His singing in a karaoke version of "Summer Nights" from Grease is painful, and he isn't faking.
  • Homage:
    • The ninth season premiere is faithfully done in the form of Agatha Christie-style mystery movies.
    • There is also a great homage to the first Naked Gun film in the opening to "PTV", in which Stewie infiltrates Afghanistan and opens up a can of whoop-ass on Osama bin Laden. The scene is also a homage to Yoda's fight scene in Attack of the Clones.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: When Peter goes to jail:
    Peter: MAN! Everyone is really nice here! ...I mean they're gonna be disappointed when they find out I'm not gay, but WOW!
  • How Can Santa Deliver All Those Toys?: "The Road to the North Pole" had a very grim answer for that.
  • Hug and Comment: Near the end of Season 8 episode "Quagmire's Dad", Glenn hugs his father who has undergone sex reassignment surgery, then an embarrassed exchange implies that Glenn has become aroused.
  • Humans Are Morons: Though usually not nearly as stupid as Peter.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • Family Guy's theme song talks about violence and sex in the media, when the show itself is notorious for being one of the most violent and sex-themed of well-known TV shows.
    • On two separate occasions, Lois has mocked Brian for dating unintelligent people, whilst being married to someone who is legally retarded.
    • In "Road to Germany", Brian remarks that Nazis portrayed Jews in an extremely offensive way. The leaflet that prompted him to say so showed the Nazis' idea of a Jew - namely, Mort Goldman alongside a Star of David.
    • Out-of-universe example: Brian and Stewie sang a song at the 2007 Emmys about how sad it was that all the shows on television were complete trash. Incidentally, the music was the same as a song on the show about how the FCC is evil for all of its "extreme" censoring.
    • Herbert calls Brian a pervert and ordered him to leave his property after the latter asked him to sign a petition to legalize gay marriage.
    • When Lois gains weight after Peter stops having sex with her when he got his vasectomy, Peter uses every fat joke and insult on her despite being obese himself.
    • The biggest hypocritical humor comes from Quagmire's rant on Brian's flaws in "Jerome is the New Black." Quagmire blasts Brian for hitting on Lois after Peter did everything for him, dates a bunch of bimbos while trying to act smart to impress them, and never sees his own child. Quagmire says all this while he flirted with Lois many times, has children he never sees and gave one away, and has sex with lots of women while using his own means to seduce them, although Quagmire admits he dates bimbos just to sleep with them.
    • In "Lethal Weapons", Stewie, after hearing Brian crack a rather pathetic joke, says "Oh Brian, that was so cliche." Mind you, he's saying this while wearing one of the oldest comedy props in the book: A headdress with pieces of an arrow jutting out both sides of his head, making it look like he was just shot through the skull with an arrow.
    • For the crap Meg takes from her family, when they see or hear Alpha Bitch, Connie talk down to her, they have all defended her at separate points from her in the show.
  • Hypothetical Fight Debate: Parodied.
    Peter: Lois, Parker Lewis can't lose. Don't even try and make him lose 'cause it's just going to be that much more embarrassing for you when you realize that he can't lose.
    Chris: Would he win in a fight with Batman?
    Peter: Well, Chris, think about what you're saying; Parker Lewis can't lose. Heretofore, Batman can suck on that.

    I 
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Not really for cute reasons, but in one episode Peter takes a cardboard cutout of Kathy Ireland because he fell in love with it.
  • I Can Change My Beloved:
    • Lampshaded and parodied in the episode "The Former Life of Brian". Brian tries to impress a recently widowed mother (only referred to as "Jared's Mom") by putting on a magic show for her son, only to find out that she already has a boyfriend, Paul:
    Paul: ...I'm a great guy! I'm unemployed, but that makes her feel useful in the relationship.
    Jared's Mom: I'm gonna fix him!
    Paul: Our relationship will do fine on that basis.
    Jared's Mom: If he had his life together, I wouldn't be into it.
    Paul: But I don't!
    Brian: (exasperated) God, I am so sick of this crap!
  • I Don't Pay You to Think: In "The Thin White Line," Peter tells a rehab counselor "Yeah, well I don't pay you to think, hot lips, in fact, I don't pay you at all... Count it!"
  • Ignorance Is Bliss: None of the cast knows about Brian's death in the alternate timeline now except for Brian himself, and he only knows the bare minimum about it.
  • I Have My Ways: Lois hints at her wily, secretive ways of obtaining a map of her neighbor's house. Cut to a scene of her walking into City Hall and asking for a map.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Although Meg does have a group of friends, the trope is about her recurring efforts to make friends with and be accepted by students in the popular cliques, such as the athletes and student leaders … and those that include (and are led by) school bitch Connie D'Amico, the self-described most popular girl at school.
  • I Love Nuclear Power: Played straight and subverted. The Griffin family is exposed to toxic waste and gain superpowers, using them to wreak havoc over the town. Mayor West tries to do the same in order to fight back, but ends up with lymphoma.
  • I Was Quite a Fashion Victim: Many characters, but Death really can't believe he wore a tie-dyed cloak and had an Afro in The Seventies.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: A mild version and not directly stated by the character it's directed at, but in "Meet the Quagmires" Death sends Peter back in time to relive being eighteen again and Brian comes with him. He and Peter are at the country club pool where Peter worked when he was a teen, and Lois walks up:
    Brian: Wow. Eighteen-year-old Lois— son of a bitch!
  • I Was Told There Would Be Cake: Stewie is aware that the perks of marriage is this wonderful, pleasurable thing called sex, it's just that he thinks that sex is some sort of cake.
  • Identical Grandson: Peter's many "ancestors."
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Played with, then dropped. The original idea was to name every episode with an ominous title, having to do with death or murder — many of them named after radio programs of the 30's and 40's. This was dropped eventually when the writers realized it was difficult to identify episodes without resorting to the Friends convention of "you know, the one where..."
  • If I Were a Rich Man: One of the few shows where this tends to be acted on. Repeatedly.
  • Ignore The Disability: Brian frequently falls victim to this trope, has occurred at least twice with Tom Tucker's son, and multiple times to hide his suggested racial insecurities (a Fawlty Towers Plot occurred from one in "Peter's Got Woods").
    Brian: This whole situation has just turned his life upside-down face.
    (Stewie slowly turns to Brian bewildered)
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy:
    • Lampshaded in "Cold Hand Peter".
    Cleveland: Oh, no, they're shootin' at us!
    Peter: Good thing bad guys are such terrible shots.
    Chasing Officer: (firing every which way) MAN, these guys are elusive!!
    • "And The Wiener Is" makes fun of this directly with a joke about characters at a shooting range shooting at targets that identify with their character. The joke ends with a Stormtrooper shooting at a Luke Skywalker cut-out and missing every shot.
  • Implausible Deniability: Lois in front of all the evidence that her brother is a serial killer.
  • In the Blood: Stewie has his maternal grandfather's limitless cruelty & his father's complete lack of common sense. The perfect recipe for a Diabolical Mastermind.
  • Incest Subtext: Done mostly for laughs (more or less). At last count, Peter/Meg, Peter/Chris, Lois/Chris, Lois/Meg, Mr. Pewterschmidt/Lois, Chris/Meg, and Stewie/Chris, the last one doubling as Darth Vader/Luke.
  • Indestructible Edible: Twinkies will survive After the End (or so everyone hopes that second).
  • Inept Talent Show Contestant: In one episode, Peter and Lois form a hippie-esque folk duo, A Handful of Peter, and perform at a talent show. They're so stoned they simply stand there and scream and wail, but in their collective mind's eye they're performing a song called "In God's Eyes We Are All Hot".
  • Informed Attractiveness: Lois is considered to be one of the hottest women on earth. Her similarity to supposedly super-ugly Meg (sans the glasses and hat) is jarring.
  • Informed Flaw:
    • Played straight with Meg's supposed ugliness. The writers acknowledge that she isn't as ugly as many characters point out, but tend to exaggerate this for laughs. She has the same face as the majority of the female cast.
    • Brian's failings as a writer. He wrote a TV pilot that looked pretty good before it got bastardized. It's played straight, however, with his novel "Faster Than The Speed Of Love", which was so horrible the publishing company mailed him back all the unsold copies packed with shredded pages from said novel. Brian originally dismissed his pilot as crap but spent years working on the novel thinking it was brilliant.
  • Informed Obscenity: The trendy new curse word, "Cleemun". Find out what it means, after this.
  • Inherently Funny Words: Buttscratcher! The way they say it helps. mmbuttSCRATCHERR
  • Injury Bookend: Reversed for comic effect. Joe Swanson, who is paraplegic, gets the use of his legs back when someone skies over his legs. He then jumps up and yells "I can walk again!" only for someone else to run into him and cripple him just as he was before.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Peter, even when he isn't trying to be a Jerk Ass, can sound rather offensive and hurtful by accident. Some of Meg's less directly abusive treatment also leans into this.
  • Insane Troll Logic: In the episode "No Meals on Wheels" Peter proves that (in his words) "cripples aren't cool". His favorite actor, Mark Harmon, doesn't need a wheelchair. Mark Harmon is cool. Therefore people who need wheelchairs aren't cool and shouldn't be allowed in his restaurant.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Joe.
  • Insufferable Genius:
    • Subverted in "Petarded"; Peter wins at Trivial Pursuit and becomes a condescending jerk who thinks he's smarter than everybody and rubs it in their faces. The catch is, all his questions were deliberately chosen from the pre-school category and it turns out he's mentally retarded.
    • Lauren Conrad not only turns out to be a closeted super-genius, she corrects everyone.
  • Intended Audience Reaction: If you don't take the anvilicious animal-friendly message from "Dog Gone" at face value, you see a whole other anvil.
  • Interdimensional Travel Device: Stewie invents a remote control that can travel to many universes, including one where Meg is hot, but still ugly compared to everyone else.
  • The Internet Is for Porn: Surprisingly, Quagmire had no idea you could get porn off the Internet until someone told him in a 2009 episode. The next time we see him, his left arm is swollen to Popeye-like proportions. (Who knew that Quagmire was left-handed?)
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • Brian had many human girlfriends, and it's implied that he had sex with almost all of them. The most prominent examples are Jillian (his only girlfriend for more than one chapter) and Lois (Brian's love for Lois is a recurring gag; they were also married for over a year in the episode "The Perfect Castaway", and Lois mentioned at the end that if Peter hadn't come back she would have finally had sex with Brian).
    • Brian's cousin Jasper. Yes, one of the only gay characters in Family Guy is a dog (at least they decided to cut out a scene that implied he was going to rape his husband).
    • Noah didn't really give any guidelines on mating.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: The entire family. Ironically, Meg, the series' regular Butt Monkey, gets the least physical abuse.
  • Irony:
    • Seth MacFarlane using his natural voice for a non-human character, while using different voices for human characters.
    • Listen to the line in the opening theme where Peter and Lois mention their distaste for violence in movies and sex on TV, then watch any random episode.
    • The episode taking place during a hurricane as part of a multiplayer theme night where The Cleveland Show and American Dad also took place in said hurricane. All 3 were meant to air in May but were all postponed due to a severe storm that killed 300 people. When did they eventually air? On October 2nd, at the tail end of hurricane season.
  • Irrational Hatred: Everyone for Meg.
  • It's Been Done: In-universe, this is everyone's reaction when Brian describes the plot of the novel he's been working on for years, "Faster Than The Speed Of Love", which is pretty much a blatant and complete rip-off of Iron Eagle, although Brian claims he never heard of the movie or its sequels, which the novel also rips off.

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